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Soundscapes to Landscapes – Audio Bird Monitoring

December 9, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am

| Free

$10 suggested donation (Free for Friends of Pepperwood)
Ages 13 and up welcome (under 13 welcome with adult supervision)
VIRTUAL – meet on Zoom

The earth’s biodiversity and associated ecosystem services are in a severe state of decline due to human pressure. However, our knowledge of these changes and impacts on human society is often incomplete. Join us to learn how Soundscapes to Landscapes is using a combination of multiple technologies and the power of citizen/community scientists to fill this data gap – starting with a focus on Sonoma County bird diversity. Soundscapes to Landscapes (S2L) is a science-based project that seeks to advance the monitoring of animal biodiversity across large areas using data from new Earth-observing sensors and advanced modeling. In this special presentation, we will hear from a panel of Soundscapes to Landscapes team members about their innovative approach and some of their findings thus far.

Traditionally, collecting this biodiversity data would require experts with knowledge of birds to visit sites and visually scan an area for birds or listen for calls. S2L uses a unique combination of audio recorders, artificial intelligence, and space-based remote sensing to monitor bird diversity at a regional scale. Teams of citizen scientists use audio recorders to collect sounds for a few days in natural woodlands, grasslands, agricultural areas and urban areas throughout Sonoma County. The >700,000 minutes of audio recordings that have been amassed using this method are then run through a computer algorithm that the S2L team has trained to detect 54 bird species, with the help of citizen scientists who identified bird vocalizations in a subset of the recordings. Using spatial modeling techniques, S2L can then link these bird diversity data to remotely-sensed images, climate data and other predictor information, resulting in dynamic maps of species occurrence across the county.

The Soundscapes to Landscapes project is led by the Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Analysis (CIGA) at Sonoma State University, in partnership with Point Blue Conservation Science, Pepperwood Preserve, UC Merced, Northern Arizona University, Sonoma County Ag and Open Space District, Audubon California, and The University of Edinburgh. This project is funded by NASA’s Citizen Science for Earth Systems Program (NNX17AG59A), in the Science Mission Directorate’s Earth Science Division.


Rose Snyder works out of Point Blue Conservation Science as a Science Coordinator and is the project coordinator for S2L. Her focus is primarily on public outreach, citizen science coordination and field season planning, including gaining access to sites, recruiting and training citizen scientists, and data processing and management. When she’s not at her desk or out in the field, Rose enjoys spending time playing with her toddler and working in her vegetable garden!

Dr. Matthew Clark is a professor in the Geography, Environment, and Planning department at Sonoma State University. He has a PhD in Geography from University of California, Santa Barbara and a MSc in Conservation and Ecosystem Analysis from University of Washington. He teaches classes in geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing. His research is focused on using novel forms of remote sensing, including satellites, airplane sensors and drones, for monitoring biodiversity, assessing land change, and helping conservation and land management.

Dr. Leo Salas is a Senior Quantitative Ecologist in the EcoInformatics and Climate Solutions group at Point Blue Conservation Science. Originally from Venezuela, he obtained his MSc in Wildlife Conservation and PhD in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has worked with a variety of organisms and ecosystems, and specializes in novel data analysis methods, and modeling biological systems at large spatial and temporal scales, including future climate scenarios.

David Leland is a member of the Audubon Society and Redwood Regional Ornithological Society. He has been on the S2L team since 2017, participating in community outreach, field placement of recorders, analysis of recordings to identify bird species present, and development of models for individual species of interest. In addition, he is also working with his Sonoma Valley community on ways to reduce community carbon emissions.

This webinar will consist of a live multimedia presentation and include time for facilitated Q&A.

*This lecture will be held online using the Zoom Webinar platform. Once you register, you will be emailed the link and instructions on how to join the Zoom Webinar at the scheduled time. You can join this event using a computer, smartphone, or tablet – in your web browser or by downloading the Zoom application.


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Holland Gistelli